Kaufman and Canoles

Private Client Services

Private Client Services

Our Private Client Services Group is dedicated to providing expert Trust and Estate Planning and Administration for families, professionals, business owners, charities and fiduciaries. We have offered invaluable service and counseling to clients across Virginia, making sure of the proper transfer of businesses, wealth, property and values of our clients.

Who We Are

The attorneys and paralegals in the Private Client Services Group are dedicated to providing the full range of trust and estate, planning and administration services for families, professionals and executives, business owners, charities and fiduciaries.

We have helped countless families, from Virginia Beach to Richmond and beyond, preserve their wealth for future generations. Many times we have had the privilege of counseling two, three or even more generations of the same family, assisting them with every aspect of their estate planning and administration needs. Our clients can rest assured knowing we have helped them sort through the complicated issues associated with planning for the future and implementing a holistic plan. And we are there to ensure the plan is then fully administered and our clients’ wishes are carried out.

Our attorneys also specialize in helping business owners with the difficult task of transferring ownership and control of their companies. We know how important it is to our clients that assets are divided fairly between family members and to make sure that their business will operate effectively after they pass on. We have the expertise to help all forms of family owned businesses plan for the future under all kinds of scenarios.

For our clients, we are often asked to prepare and be responsible for the required federal and state estate and gift tax returns and related estate and trust income tax returns. We have a key team of experienced paralegals that help in all areas of estate & trust planning and administration and especially with our tax filings.

What We Do

Clients trust us to handle the very intimate details of planning for the future, and we take that responsibility seriously. Whether needing a single will or the most complicated trust, at Kaufman & Canoles, we know that every client has different goals and objectives. That’s why we offer a personalized approach to estate planning that is tailored to meet your goals and desires. We excel at finding innovative solutions and avoiding a “cookie cutter” approach. We’re able to do this effectively because we listen carefully to our clients, and develop a plan that is unique to their vision. We work hard to earn your confidence and trust. We are local lawyers, committed to our communities and intimately involved with its civic life and institutions.

Because there are so many sophisticated tools and options available in the estate planning area, helping you understand the appropriate alternatives is crucial. It is essential for you to have the information you need to make the best choices and create a plan with which you are completely comfortable.

One of our priorities in estate planning is to minimize taxes for you and your heirs. We carefully consider the impact of federal income, estate, gift and generation skipping taxes on the passage of wealth. Our attorneys also have the skills and resources to assist you in the tax aspects of investment planning that will position you and your family for financial security. We coordinate with outside professionals such as accountants, business and investment advisors and insurance agents to ensure that you have a comprehensive plan and that it is implemented.

Most importantly, we think and reflect. We are not here just to produce a document or put numbers on a tax return. We are actively engaged as we plan and administer, looking to take advantage of planning opportunities, tax breaks, synergies and other advantages created by the combination of your particular facts. This produces a more tailored and efficient plan and can also often lead to significant tax savings, savings that are often not available for those who deal with estates reactively as opposed to planning proactively.

We also have an active practice in front of the Internal Revenue Service for audits on estate and gift tax items and related income tax returns.

Our Track Record

The Private Client Services Group at Kaufman & Canoles is composed of attorneys and paralegals who specialize in helping you plan for the future.

Created out of the legacy and example of tax attorneys Charles Kaufman and Leroy Canoles, our group has decades of experience representing families, physicians, professionals and executives, investors, business owners, charities and fiduciaries. Attorneys in the group include those who are Certified Public Accountants or have advanced legal degrees in Taxation, backgrounds that give them a deeper understanding of financial and tax matters, including the taxation of estates and trusts, generation-skipping taxes and charitable giving.

Four of our attorneys serve as Commissioners of Accounts, giving us particular depth and insight into the Virginia probate and estate administration process. Our team also includes four experienced trial lawyers who specialize in estate litigation, as well as attorneys knowledgeable in many aspects of business law and commercial practice.

As part of our service to the bar and keeping intimately involved with ever evolving laws, we hold or have held leadership positions in professional organizations at the state and local levels, including: Virginia State Bar Trusts & Estates and Taxation Sections; Virginia Bar Association Committee on Wills, Trusts & Estates; Hampton Roads and Peninsula Estate Planning Councils; Hampton Roads Tax Forum; and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Among our group are those who have membership in ACTEC, the American College of Trusts & Estate Counsel, the premier designation for trusts & estates attorneys, and are regularly selected for Best Lawyers in America, Virginia’s Legal Elite, etc.

We teach across Virginia and nationally, both in law schools and at lawyer and CPA continuing education seminars on taxation topics.

Since we offer the full range of Estate Planning and Administration services, we have the experience of working with families in our community who have some of the most difficult estate, business succession and tax problems. Our more sophisticated planning experience and available tools include:
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Family Gift and Loan Planning
  • Generation-Skipping and Dynasty Trusts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT)
  • Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT)
  • Private Annuities and Self Cancelling Installment Notes (SCIN)
  • Private Split Dollar and Captive Insurance Companies
  • Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
  • Stock Redemption and Cross Purchase Agreements
  • Charitable Remainder and Lead Trusts (CRT & CLT)
  • Private and Public Foundations
  • Community Foundations and Donor Advised Funds
  • Pension Plan Distribution Analysis
  • Trust and Estate Litigation
  • Planning for Resident and Non-resident Aliens

Representative Matters

  • Represented surviving entities in family business split-ups
  • Assisted transition of family businesses to the next generation
  • Implemented wealth transition plans with family values
  • Financial and business advice in connection with most matters


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